Saturday 17 October 2015

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

My battery is flat!

I bought a car battery from on the 12th December last year. Some while ago the battery could not start the car. This started about 3 months or so ago when it used to require recharging. But now it has completely died. On the 21st September, I took the battery to back to the store in Gaborone West where I was told it needs charging. I then left the battery for charging.

On the 22nd September 2015, I went to collect the battery and I was told it was not covered by warranty as one of the terminals had been hammered by a hammer. However, I am of the view that the battery had a factory defect as it required constant recharging outside the car.

I would like to be refunded my money or battery replaced as it is still under warranty. Is this possible?

This is a tricky one as it seems like a case of “your word against theirs”. You claim one thing, they claim another. However, they can’t just make claims like "one of the terminals had been hammered by a hammer” without having very clear evidence for the claim.

Section 13 (1) (b) of the Consumer Protection Regulations says that a “supplier of a commodity or of a service shall fail to meet minimum standards of performance if” … "the supplier quotes scientific or technical data in support of a claim unless the data can be readily substantiated”.

If they want to claim that you hammered the terminals they have to substantiate that claim. You should ask them for that evidence. Until that point you have a right to expect the warranty to be respected.

Where’s my laptop?

Last month I took my laptop to a repair center for fixing because it had LCD panel fault. Upon arrival at the repair center it was agreed that the repair center would diagnose the machine for any and all faults and issue me with a report. This report was supposed to include the faults identified, the quote on the cost of repairs and whether i approved the fixing of the machine.

I have on numerous occasions checked to inquire as to the progress of the diagnosis process but now one month and few days later matters are still unresolved. On the 4-5 visits I made to their premises I have only met with the technician who is handling my case once on 29/09/15, who assured me that the next 3 days he would have something feasible for me. After not receiving any response in the mentioned period I tried contacting the repair center but I was given an excuse that they were still processing my quote and that I would receive it on the next day.

In the agreement it was stated that one of the terms would be paying a P200 fee for the diagnosis report. I understand that I do not have an obligation to pay such an amount since the repair center have not performed the obligating event.

I have made up my mind to withdraw from my agreement with the repair center and would like advice on how to go about it in a way that will not make me liable for any breach.

I think you need to write these guys a letter, fax or email saying that given the unacceptable delay in providing you with a service you are formally cancelling the agreement you had with them. Tell them that unless they provide you with a quote within 24 hours you will consider the agreement cancelled and that they must return the laptop to you the following day in the same condition as when you delivered it to them. Mention that you do not believe that the P200 is payable given their failure to offer the service they proposed.

Tell them that if they fail to do this you will be contacting Consumer Watchdog, The Voice, the Consumer Protection Unit, the local council and the head of your religion of choice.

You might also want to tell them that they have clearly breached Section 15 (1) (a) of the Consumer Protection Regulations and have failed “to meet minimum standards of performance” by offering service that clearly that was “not rendered with reasonable care and skill”.

If they don’t cooperate let me know!

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